Johnson & Johnson missed estimates due to slowing pharmaceutical sales

News Hour:

Johnson & Johnson reported on Tuesday quarterly revenue that missed estimates due to slowing pharmaceutical sales, but the company, which is in the process of closing its $30 billion acquisition of Actelion, raised its 2017 forecast.

Pharmaceutical sales were hurt mainly by lower-than-expected demand for its blood thinner Xarelto, cancer drug Zytiga, and autoimmune treatments Simponi and Stelara. Sales in the segment rose 0.8 percent to $8.25 billion, below Barclays estimate of $8.47 billion, reports Reuters.

The Band-Aid maker got off to a rocky start this year, forecasting in January sales and profit for 2017 below Street estimates, and said it expected a slower growth rate for pharmaceuticals in the year.

The logo of healthcare company Johnson & Johnson is seen in front of an office building in Zug, Switzerland

A week later, however, it announced it had beat out France’s Sanofi SA, clinching the deal to buy Swiss biotech firm Actelion. J&J in February agreed to sell its Codman neurosurgery business for more than $1 billion.

On Tuesday, the company raised its 2017 forecast to reflect the Actelion acquisition, which is expected to close in the second quarter.

J&J raised its sales expectations to $75.40 billion-$76.10 billion and adjusted profit to $7.00-$7.15 per share. In January, the company forecast revenue of $74.10 billion-$74.80 billion and adjusted earnings of $6.93-$7.08 per share.

J&J is the first of the major pharmaceutical companies to report quarterly results, a month after the Republican attempt to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system spectacularly failed, although a renewed effort is said to be in the works.

Net earnings in the first quarter were $4.42 billion, or $1.61 per share, compared with $4.46 billion, or $1.59 per share, in the year-earlier period.

Excluding items, J&J earned $1.83 per share, beating Street expectations of $1.77, helped by lower operating expenses and taxes.

News Hour Correspondent

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